What to Expect
This page will give you some information regarding what to expect during a laser treatment in the office and during vitreoretinal surgery.
Typically laser surgery is performed in the clinic in the minor procedure room using the green, yellow, red laser or YAG laser. Preoperatively the pupil should be dilated with dilating drops. After the indications, risks, benefits and alternatives are explained, you will be asked to sign a consent allowing us to proceed with the laser treatment in order to treat your particular retinal condition. A drop of topical anesthetic is placed on the eye in order to numb the eye. A contact lens is then applied to the surface of the eye using a viscoelastic coupling gel. Looking through this contact lens we will have a clear view of the retinal surface. The laser will then be applied under direct visualization to the retina. Typically this laser beam is quite bright and is not associated with any pain. However, sometimes a burning sensation or aching in the eye may occur. This occurs because some areas of the eye may be more sensitive than others. You should communicate any significant discomfort to your surgeon so that he or she may adjust the treatment accordingly.
Typically there is very little in the way of postoperative care needed after a retinal laser treatment. However, due to the anesthetic drop and ointment used the eye can dry out and result in burning. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to use topical lubricating eyedrops every hour in the treated eye over the first day. In addition, Tylenol or Extra-Strength Tylenol may be used two tablets every four hours as needed. However, this is extremely uncommon.
On the day of your scheduled eye injection, prior to the administration of drug, your eye will be prepared with antibiotic topical lidocaine eye drops. The eye will soon become numb. The eye is then held open with a lid speculum and betadine drops are placed for disinfection. It is normal for your eye to sting at this point.
You will be asked to use antibiotic ointment four times a day for two days. In addition, you should wash your hands before touching your eyes. Do not rub your eyes. Your eye will burn slightly after the procedure due to the strong antiseptic solution we use to prevent infection. Use artificial tear drops every hour as needed, and use one or two Tylenol tablets every four hours as needed.
IMPORTANT: If you develop increasing pain or decreasing vision in the treated eye, immediately contact Dr. Arroyo or the ophthalmologist on call at (617) 667-3391 or (617) 667-4700.
Your doctor will give you a prescription for ointment to be placed in the eye to be operated on. Please fill it immediately and place it into your eye at bedtime starting two (2) nights before surgery.
You may have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before the surgery. This is an important rule for your safety. If you do eat, your surgery will be cancelled.
A pre-operative visit with your primary medical doctor should be arranged in the thirty (30) days prior to your surgery in order to perform the required history and physical.
If you take Aspirin, Coumadin, or Insulin, please check with your doctor before the surgery. Some of these medications may need to be held for one or more days prior to surgery.
Take your usual morning pills with a small sip of water on the morning of surgery.
Expect to remain at the Shapiro Clinical Center for approximately one (1) hour following your surgery. Patients having surgery MUST be accompanied when leaving the hospital. Whether you are taking a taxi, public transportation, or have other arrangements, someone must accompany you from the Shapiro Clinical Center, to your transportation.
Prior to leaving the Shapiro Clinical Center, we will inform you fo the time and location of your post-operative visit.
We will try to make your surgical experience a safe and pleasant one. If you have any questions, please call us at (617) 667-3391.
First Day After Surgery
Keep eye patch on until you see your doctor the day following surgery.
Please take Tylenol or Extra-Strength Tylenol, two (2) tablets, every four (4) hours after surgery.
Please rest as much as possible the first day after surgery and take it easy the first week after surgery.
First Month After Surgery
Antibiotic Ointment 2 times a day.
Hyoscine (Red Top) - 1 drop - 2 times a day.
It is normal to feel an itch in the eye during the first month after surgery.
No heavy lifting or exercising the first month.
If your pain or vision is getting significantly worse, please contact your doctor